June 22-26, 2022
General Impression/Report to the Board and Congregation
The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly (UUGA or GA) of 2022 addressed the areas of Governance, Faith, and Action Items, as well as the UU Service Committee which deals with international concerns.
Every 15 years the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is required to review the Bylaws. Furthermore, they apparently have not been structurally revised since 1961 when Unitarians and the Universalists became one denomination. The Bylaws Taskforce reported that the Bylaws established at that union were rooted in outdated models of volunteer labor that no longer reflects the realities of our lives today, nor do they reflect the diversity of today’s UUA leadership. New Bylaws will provide role clarity, accountability to our values, and flexibility thus allowing for innovation and meaningful participation. They will furthermore include accountability to our longstanding anti-racist and anti-oppression commitment stated in the past but never implemented. The final draft of the rewritten Bylaws is scheduled to be presented at 2024-UUGA, followed by a year of final discussion.
Every session began with a speakers’ acknowledgement to the native peoples whose land their particular congregation sits. (By the way, Manchester sits on Pennacook & Abenaki lands). An emphasis was “Who have we been” and “Who we are becoming”. Viewpoints s expressed included
-we must focus on the transformation of our faith”
-ours is a theology of love
-the moral arch of the universe bends towards justice only because we bend it
-individual freedom of belief is a vital part of (sacred to) our faith
-how do we balance our belief of freedom with our belief in covenant that work towards the common good of the community?
-the world needs our joy: joy feels like love and moves like freedom
-hope that the future will bring a new day: don’t meet it with fear but with joy
-we are called to do anti-racist, anti-oppression work: it’s part of our theology.
-two practices: searching for truth and covenanting in community
-truth reveals to us through our direct experience
-accountability is part of our covenant
Action Items for Immediate Witness (AIW)
All three which were submitted were accepted.
AIW #1 “We Do Not consent: Rejecting Legal Challenges to Abortion”
AIW #2: “Anti-Racism and Reparations via Restorative Justice”
AIW#3: “Stop the Privatization of Medicare”
I recommend that our small congregation focus on the first two AIW’s. I would need to get a feel from the congregation which one you would prioritize. There are several actions suggested in both AIW’s that we are already doing. Both would need to begin with educational workshops addressing where we are in the process and where we need to expand or initiate.
The Beacon Press announces its new Editor. Over the past few years, the Beacon Press has expanded its many platforms, authors, and content emphasizing social justice and authored by more BIPOC authors. The press now offers a good selection of BIPOC poetry, young adult books, graphic novels, and the ReVisioning History series.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC).
UUSC is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization advancing human rights together with an international community of grassroots partners and advocates. Two of their present programs were highlighted at GA :
Ukraine: helping to support a UU church in Hungry which is taking in refugees and asylum seekers.
Haiti: continuing support to lay the groundwork to re-stabilize the country after the crisis of the devastating earthquake compounded by the assassination of their elected president.
Final credentials report: 1,777 credentialed delegates from 597 congregations in all 50 states as well as Washington DC, Mexico, and the Philippine Islands. There were 3, 224 attendees.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you online at the 2022 UUGA. 2023 UUGA will be in Pittsburg PA, from June 21-25.
In the next few Sundays, I will introduce the two AIW’s (Action of Immediate Witness).